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If You Build It ...

4.64  ·  Rating details ·  151 ratings  ·  43 reviews
If You Build It... is a funny and moving memoir about Fathers, Fate and Field of Dreams. Dwier Brown played Kevin Costner's father for five minutes at the end of the movie Field of Dreams. Despite being an actor for 35 years and performing in hundreds of other films, plays and television shows, it was those five minutes that changed his life. Since the movie's release in 1 ...more
Paperback, 264 pages
Published April 2014 by Elsie Jean Books
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Apr 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
There are many things I don't understand about myself. One of them is the attraction I have for baseball films although I am not particularly fond of watching the game in person or on TV. "Field of Dreams" is a movie about baseball but really about family and trying to fix mistakes. It is on my list of films that I watch every year or so - always in Spring.
This past week I found myself in Iowa and persuaded my husband to take me to Dyersville where the movie set has remained with a baseball dia
Aug 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
As a fan of memoirs, baseball, and baseball movies, I really enjoyed IF YOU BUILD IT. Throughout most of the book, Brown shares stories of his relationship with his father and his experiences working on the film FIELD OF DREAMS. He also includes several stories that fans of the film have told him over the years about how the film affected their lives. Some of them are very moving.
Sep 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars. Nicely written memoir with some cool "inside baseball" parts about his "Field of Dreams" scenes. We bought this book at Calfee Park in Pulaski, Va., when Mr. Brown was visiting minor league ballparks during a book tour. ...more
Aug 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sports
A pleasant surprise by first time author Brown about his role in the filming of "Field of Dreams". If you have not read "Shoeless Joe" or seen the movie I will refrain from spoilers. The book is an autobiography interspersed with stories of people he met as a result of his role in the movie. It was a quick read, thoroughly enjoyable. ...more
Aug 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
More than thirty years ago, I had the honor of meeting Dwier Brown through summer theatre at Ashland College (now University). At the time, in the back of my mind, I'd hoped to become a writer some day. But I never thought both of us would become published authors. I justifiably hoped Dwier would become a successful actor, and followed his career in various plays, films and TV shows from afar, spotting him in all-too-small bit parts and the occasional feature film. Of course, his "big break" hap ...more
Steven Miele
Apr 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
If you never read any other book; or if you’re looking for your next great read; this is the book. It has made its way into the top 5 favorite books of all time for me. If you’re a fan of the film; you will love this book. Much like everyone else; I had a rocky relationship with my father growing up. One thing we have always agreed on is our love for this film. And in that love the game of baseball. I love the game; it’s my favorite game and just love it. Reading this book I found myself thinkin ...more
Kat Skrien
Jan 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: brown-dwier
So rarely do I say anything about the books I read, but Mr. Brown's book deserves a mention. Field of Dreams, the movie, is one of my favorites and my absolute favorite of baseball movies. I can't get through it without crying because it reminds my so much of my father, who used to take me to the Tigers' games in Detroit when I was a little girl. I was beyond shocked to find out that there are so many other people who were affected by that movie and now I don't feel so crazy when I tell people i ...more
Cris Tortolano
Feb 12, 2021 rated it it was amazing
If you build it…he will come. If you write it…they will read – or in this case, listen.

A memoir of the making of “Field of Dreams” would be in itself a gift to read, but Dwier Brown’s tome includes confessions from fans who have felt compelled to share their stories of their fathers with Mr. Brown when they recognize him from his role in the iconic film. These confessions add another layer of pathos that a straight retelling of on-set stories might not. I have long said that the audio versions o
Peter J
Oct 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I have watched the movie over 100 times and it never gets old for me. Nor does the ending when Ray meets his father John and they share a catch with each other.I had played baseball starting in little league at the age of 7, wearing #7 to idolize my hero Mickey MantIe. I remember my Father coming to games and watch me play even though i wasnt very good with the bat, i was a better fielder. I played center field. I lost my father when i was only 8 years old. He was 50 and he never got to see me p ...more
Jun 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As probably happened with many others, being a fan of the movie, “Field of Dreams,” I was extremely curious to read Dwier Brown’s experience in this classic film. Having a few acting credits myself, I related to many aspects he discussed about his acting career. Also, since I teach a college course about sports films, I expected his writing would give me more to discuss in the course. Yet, the most meaningful aspects of this book come from Dwier’s discussions of his relationship with his father. ...more
Jeffrey Schwartz
Jul 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
If this book had been written by anyone else it would have been a very good book. The fact that Dwier Brown wrote the book, and mixed chapters between personal recollections and personal encounters, makes this an EXCEPTIONAL book. I will be the first to admit I can recall specifically my own reaction to seeing the movie and the direct effect it had on my life and the subsequent relationship with my father, however when you consider the unique position the author is in and his ability to articula ...more
James Neeb
Aug 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
If you love Field of Dreams, you will thoroughly enjoy this wonderful book by Dwier Brown, the actor who played Kevin Costner's dad in the movie. I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Brown at Carson Park in Eau Claire, Wisconsin in the summer of 2019. This entertaining, thoughtful, thought-provoking book is further confirmation of what a warm, caring, and genuine person Dwier Brown is to everyone he meets. More recently, I heard that Mr. Brown was working on the audio version of this book. Other th ...more
I wasn't sure what to expect from this book when I picked it up. I found this to be a heartfelt memoir about growing up in rural Ohio, and the author's relationship with his father. Interspersed with his role as John Kinsella and the filming of Field of Dreams. He shared some of the recognition stories he has had over the years as the father from field of Dreams. All have shared how much the movie has meant to them when they saw it when they saw it the first time . I probably wouldn't have pick ...more
Dave Price
Jul 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I never, EVER read a book anymore....I read this in one day! Many stories of how people’s relationships with their fathers were changed after watching “Field of Dreams” and the scene with Mr. Brown. The book is wonderfully written as stories from the movie set are intertwined with both the aforementioned stories and those of Mr. Browns childhood and adolescence. I had the pleasure of meeting him in Pulaski, Va this last week. A genuine, down-to-earth man who you could see telling this story! It’ ...more
Brad Weinfurter
Mar 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I am a fan of the movie and had an opportunity to meet Dwier at a Northwoods League baseball game in summer of 2018. Impressed by his like ability and how friendly he was to my kids prompted me to purchase this book. I only read a couple books a year but could not put this one down! Must read to anyone who likes the movie, you will cry again only laugh as well! Wonderful stories about the movie, life in general and of course dads. A real treat! Thanks Dwier!
Jun 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I enjoy starting my little book synopses with backgrounds of what brought a book into my hands and it’s often a casual affair. Not this time. To understand why I had this book less than 3 minutes after I learned of its existence, it would help to understand who its author, Dwier Brown is. If you don’t know, it might help to know that he’s an actor who has, among his credits, an unforgettable role, a five minute job, in a movie that isn’t named for his character. His character isn’t a lead. In fa ...more
Sharon Strouse
Mar 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Besides knowing Dwier as he escaped the Sharon Center renovation(s) of his father's dream house, at Ashland 'College' - I think the book reminds me of working alongside my parents as they shared their dreams and shaped mine... Sharon Helt Strouse ...more
Jeffrey Collum
Jun 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Awesome job of making you feel like you were behind the scenes during the filming of the classic movie, Field of Dreams. My favorite parts of the book were when Dwier retold some stories from fans he has met through the years. Many of them brought tears to my eyes.
Amber Blasl
Aug 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Such a fun read! I loved the format of switching between his childhood, to his time on the set of Field of Dreams, to the people and stories he encountered along the way. I couldn't put it down and would love to read more from him. ...more
Apr 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic Reminiscent tale full of laughs and tears. I’m so glad he wrote this very personal memoir and shared great vivid details.

I’m so happy I bought this book at & when I visited The Field Of Dreams myself with my best friend 2 years ago. It’s all so inspiring.

Find Your Joy!
Leigh Anne
Nov 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic book. Mr. Brown tells his story in a beautiful and meaningful way. His story is one we can all relate to in one way or another, its heartbreaking and uplifting (and super fun to learn some of the inside info of the filming of Feild of Dreams).
Apr 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of the most inspirational books that I have ever written. It makes me remember all of the wonderful amazing experiences that I had with my DAD.
Jennifer Darci
Feb 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is going on my all-time-faves list. Seriously. And I am NOT a Shoeless Joe book or Field of Dreams movie fan.
Maggie Arteaga
Sep 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Now I love the movie even more!
Jessica Schwier
Oct 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful book! I read it aloud to my husband who has alzheimers. He thought it was good. Thanks Dwier!!
Nick Rojas
Jun 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoirs
A heartfelt and beautiful book to read about our connection to our fathers and the movie Field of Dreams. Thank you to Dwier Brown for writing this story.
Aug 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I love, love, love this movie, watch it over and over again. Goosebumps and tears every time! I loved this book and I know it will NOT be a one-time read!
Jan 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Aug 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
This made me cry. I met the author, Dwier Brown, at the Field Of Dreams movie site, he was the father in the movie. Easy read but worth the time! I especially enjoyed the fan accounts interspersed throughout the novel.
John Wispelwey
May 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If you Read It...... you will be blessed by memories of your own childhood and memories of this author, actor, and fine man who weaves a story that will lift your heart, make you smile and moisten your eyes Thank you Dwier for opening up this window into your life and career.
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